Friday 28 March 2014


Balut - not my cup of tea. It's a developing duck embryo that is boiled alive and eaten in the shell. Yes, you read that right. It's something of a delicacy in the Philippines, and Vergie's friend brought her back some from her last trip to the PI. 

Here are some photos. I must admit that just the thought of having the thing in my kitchen made my insides feel all funny, but opening the bin to see an aborted chick in there....even minginger. Here are some photos.

The yolk after the chick has been removed

See the head? actually, don't look

Duck foetus

The shell

Thursday 20 March 2014

Car Share Adventure

We had a bit of an exploration adventure this weekend, driving a car in Hong Kong for the first time. We've been here almost 6 years now and we literally haven't driven a mile in all that time. Standard car hire is a bit of a hassle, pricey and you never what you're going to get but a new site launched here recently that let's people rent out their own cars. There are similar services in the UK and the US, but an online service like this is pretty rare in Hong Kong. You can find it at, and can rent by the hour or the day.

So we finally got around to converting our UK licences into HK ones, and finally got approved on their site, then reserved someone's VW Golf over in North Point, for the day. It was all very smooth.
We planned to go see Cath and Holly in Stanley for breakfast, then go to Kadoorie farm out in the New Territories. In the end we were in Stanley on our own, but it was fun driving down there.

The drive out to the New Territories was a bit more complicated, and when we finally got a Kadoorie we found it really hard to park anywhere sensible. With a bit more planning it would probably be good, but we decided to just go the Wetland Park instead which we hadn't been to before.

 Then we crossed over to the other side of the New Territories, another half hour trip, to Bride's Pool. This a waterfall and pool on the edge of a Country Park. Supposedly a bride on her way to a wedding was dropped from her carriage in an accident an died here a long time ago.

Playing in the pool was fun, until Felix fell in and got his shoe wet! Josh's face in the background is awesome:

Saturday 15 March 2014

Tuesday 4 March 2014

Uh oh

So on Saturday (1 March) Joshy fell off the wall around a raised flowerbed, and broke his arm - greenstick fractures to both bones.

Luckily, Rowena's mum was there at the time, and she said that he might have broken it, so we should take him to get checked. When he fell, he cried for a couple of minutes, but nothing more, he was whiny and not using his arm, but not in a great deal of pain at all. And he could still move his arm and all his fingers.

We took him straight to the Sanatorium in Happy Valley. They x-rayed him, and confirmed that at least the radius was broken. We had the option to call the orthopaedic specialist for a $2,000 consultation (it was after hours by this time) or wait till Monday.

We went home, and all slept like logs! Josh slept in my bed, and didn't seem to be in pain (he had had some nurofen). On Sunday morning we decided to call the ortho guy at the Sanatorium and just pay up for the extra charge. We went to the hospital about 9am, and he arrived about 30 minutes later  (they won't call him until you arrive at the hospital). I didn't feel too comfortable with him - he didn't ask any questions or suggest any choices - just said we had to give J a general anesthetic and manipulate the bone before casting it. I wanted a second opinion, so decided to wait.

Here's Josh with Furby, the Froggy class's mascot that we were looking after for the weekend. He had quite an adventure! 

On Monday morning I called the Duchess of Kent Children's Hospital, but they couldn't give us an appointment for 2-3 weeks. So we went to Asia Medical Specialists, who were recommended. We saw Dr Y H Li - a pediatric orthopedic specialist. He was very calm and thoughtful, asked lots of questions, gave us options, and voiced his opinion. He said that actually both bones were broken, and a reduction under GA was one option, or the other was to plaster it straightaway. He said that in kids this young the alignment often corrects itself in 2 years or so anyway, and in any case Josh's misalignment was only around 20% (the arm looks a bit curved to the naked eye). He recommended that course of action, and did the cast right away. Josh had some stuff wound round his arm that looked a bit like bubble wrap, then the doctor wound a bandage on top of this. The bandage was wet, and he shaped it quickly while it was still sticky, then it set rock hard in just a few minutes. Here's J looking very happy with it!

He keeps telling me he loves his cast. He went with Ross to buy a special pink pen so that his friends can write on it. 

I was so relieved  by Dr Li's professionalism and kindness that I almost burst into tears in his office! Awesome, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend him. Not cheap - about 1,500 for the consult, then another 4,000 for the plaster cast procedure and materials.